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How It Was Made: Roland Tings - Salt Water

Roland Tings

Roland Tings

Australian producer Roland Tings has released his new album Salt Water. Recorded from the seaside vistas of The Great Ocean Road in Eastern Australia, Roland Tings delivers an album filled with quirky, fun and melodic house music that fits for your home or the club. The album builds on his previous work and bests that. The album was made with the help of a studio packed with great gear and we got him to take us into the studio to explain how the equipment was used on this LP. With gear like Juno 106 or a bunch of modular synths, there is a lot that went into making this album as full as it does.

Pick up your copy of the LP and listen along as you hear how each piece was used.

Juno 106

This is the centerpiece of my studio. The first synth I fell in love with and really the only one I know absolutely inside out. I can dial in a patch without listening and know how it will sound. It’s used on every track on the record, mostly for chord progressions, string lines, and white noise FX. I love everything about it. I used to take it into acid territory but I’ve got a few other pieces that are good for this now. The best Juno sound’s I ever pulled are on “Sun Drops Behind The Hill” on the album.

Juno 106

Cyclone Bass Bot

This is an analog clone of the 303 and it really blew my mind when I got it. I had messed around with a few 303 emulations both analog and digital over the years but I’d never really nailed a sound I was happy with. I never realized that the real magic of any acid box is in the sequencing, and this one has a really intuitive sequencer - as well as being quite faithful to the original circuitry. Every 303 you hear on the record is from this box.

Cyclone Bass Bot TR-303


Excuse how crusty this thing is! I’ve used this RE20 on everything I’ve ever made, used it in every live show and its just incredible. This unit has spent 10 years getting smashed up in bags around the world. I had this before I even understood what the difference between a tape delay and a digital delay was. I think it was actually my first piece of gear. When I bought it all I knew is that it gave everything “vibe” - I didn’t really understand what it was doing. When I finally understood the idea of the soft diffusing / modulating blurring of echoes I gained a new level of appreciation for the unit.

Roland RE-20 Space Echo


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I’ve gone through a lot of modular gear over the years and this rig is down to the bare essentials of what I use for recording.

Modular Synth Set Up


I love the Atlantis, it’s basically an SH101 and it came out at a time when there were no SH101 clones, let alone a fully analogue version. My friends gave me this for my 30th birthday, one of the nicest gifts ever. At the moment I love using it for FM modulated percussion sounds sequenced via the Metropolis.


This is a great sequencer; I’m not a keyboard player so this thing is really valuable for me. It helps me out with a lot of melodic ideas due to its key quantization. You move the sliders around and everything stays in the key you select - it’s a really great way to come up with melodies and rhythmic ideas.


This is a great module as well, I mostly use it for chord sounds, again sequenced by the Metropolis. You can hear this on “Water Music” from the LP, which is one of the Braids stacked chord sounds running into a few different delays. It’s easy to dial in really cool chord stabs and is also useful for weird FM percussion stuff.


Not as exciting as hardware but I’m using this a lot lately. I’ve loaded up a bunch of patches from an old Yamaha FM synth (the TX81z if you really want to know) and got into some very basic modification. One of my favorite things to do is call up a marimba type patch and then turn on the glide to create a totally impossible portamento between marimba notes. It gives this freaky liquid bell sound that I love to use. You can hear it as the lead on “Hiding In The Bushes” and to a less freaky extent on “In A Cloud.”

Native Instruments FM8


I bought this little guy while I was recording the LP, the only track it made it onto is “In A Cloud,” for the big old “solo” that takes over the second half of the tune. I needed something that would provide a distinctive lead and the Juno wasn’t really cutting through enough. I needed something that would really slice through the mix and worm into peoples heads. This thing does the job. I also use it for crazy atonal laser noises you hear in “Hiding In The Bushes,” its really good at getting weird due to its unique dual filter setup. 

Korg MS20

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